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Verdi’s Rigoletto presents one of opera’s greatest scores—a masterful blend of stirring melody and searing drama—but also places great demands upon its three principal singers. For this performance, the Met assembled a trio of New York-born stars in the lead roles. Brooklyn native Robert Merrill imbues his interpretation of the title character with a fiery intensity that is matched by his lyrical warmth. Hailing from the Bronx, Roberta Peters sings Gilda, a role the soprano performed a record 88 times with the company, with characteristically shimmering high notes, crystalline accuracy, and an outpouring of emotion. And, as the licentious Duke of Mantua, hometown favorite Richard Tucker charms with his bright and ardent timbre. Maestro Fausto Cleva conducts an energetic performance that also includes young American mezzo-soprano Mignon Dunn as the flirtatious Maddalena.

Full Synopsis

Performance Info

Performance Date

Feb 22, 1964


Giuseppe Verdi


Francesco Maria Piave

Run Time

1 HRS 50 MIN

Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and Chorus